How GB Olympic hopeful Laura Trott became a cyclist thanks to her obese mother's bid to lose weight
19:17 GMT, 18 July 2012
Desperately embarrassed by her size 24 figure, Glenda Trott took her young family to the local cycling track.
She could not have known that in doing so, she would set in motion an extraordinary chain of events that would see her daughter Laura, 20, crowned a world and European cycling champion.
Now, 12 years after her mother pledged to lose weight, Miss Trott is preparing for the London 2012 Olympics, where she is expected to become one of Britain’s youngest medal winners.
In 2000, teaching assistant Mrs Trott was mortified when she was told she was too heavy to get on to a cable car while on holiday with her family in the U.S.
Going for gold: Cyclist Laura Trott is expected to become one of Britain's youngest medal winners at London 2012
She took her husband, accountant Adrian, and daughters Laura and Emma, then eight and 10, to the local cycling track, hoping to get fit with her young family.
As a result, she lost seven stone in a year – and introduced her daughters to a sport they loved and excelled at.
Miss Trott, from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, recalls: 'My mum really wanted to lose weight and a friend suggested that she try the local track at Welwyn Garden City. We all loved it. It was something we did as a family and we would go out on the bikes together. Soon I was spending every week on the track.’
Talking about her motivation to lose weight, Mrs Trott, 50, said: 'I needed to do something about it. I was in tears a lot of the time.
Obesity banished: Laura pictured recently with her mum, Glenda – once a dress size 24 – who got her daughter involved in cycling when she took it up to lose weight
put on weight after I had the children. Their school was literally a
five-minute walk from our house but I would drive them to school because
couldn’t even walk there. I would get out of breath.
'I remember walking into a shop and I
could only fit into maternity wear. That’s when I decided I had to do
something about my weight.
'My doctor told me to try swimming
but I couldn’t face having people looking at me. My husband bought be a
bike instead and one day we went down to the track. And that was it.
Laura and Emma were off straight away.’
Her steely determination also inspired her eldest daughter Emma, 22, who is a professional road cyclist in Holland.
Found her talent: Laura became world champion in the omnium event at the Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, earlier this year
Laura in action for Team GB: She has several lucky charms she'll wear in the Olympics
Miss Trott says her family ‘keep her
grounded’, something she may need in the coming weeks as she is
propelled into the spotlight.
Jo Rowsell and Dani King, she will be part of a team pursuit trio which
are favourites for the 3000m, in which they are already world record
She will also race in an individual event, the omnium, in which she is also world champion.
The self-confessed girly girl and her teammates have their nails painted before every major race and already have plans for the Olympics.
She said: ‘We will definitely coordinate our nails. I think we might have the Commonwealth stripes because we are not allowed to wear them during the Olympics Games.’
As she crosses the finishing line this summer, she will hide an illness from spectators which she affected her since she was 10 years old.
A severe form of acid reflux means the athlete suffers from sickness after every race, but she shrugs it off, saying: ‘It’s the pressure you put your body through. I am used to it now.’
When asked what it means to her to
take part in the home Olympics, she says: ‘It is everything I have
dreamed of since I was eight years old.
'But I will take it as it comes. I
always think, you are as good as you are, so I don’t worry too much.'
And should she need any extra help, Miss Trott has several lucky charms.
said: ‘I have a lucky necklace, lucky rings, lucky earrings, lucky
bracelet and a lucky hairband.
'The hairband snapped so now I have to tie
it around my wrist. I know it is probably not what makes me win, but I
have to wear all of them now for every race.’
Trott was speaking at the launch of London 2012 – the official video
game of the Olympics designed by Sega for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation